Ilorin – Prof. Dupe Ademola-Popoola, an Ophthalmologist with the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) has cautioned against beating children on the head to guard against visual impairment.
Ademola-Popoola gave the caution while addressing journalists on Saturday in Ilorin.
She further said that beating children on the head might result in eye injury, which could ultimately result in visual impairment.
The expert in eye diseases said that vision had pathway to the brain, adding that beating increases pressure on the skull which she said also put pressure on the optic nerve.
According to the professor, eye injuries may occur at play, work, school, home, or on the road, adding that eye injuries occur in children up to the middle age, especially in males.
She further said that objects causing injury to the eye might be blunt or sharp such as cane, fist, sporting equipment, explosives, missiles, stone, catapult, broom stick, pencils, knives, guns among others.
Ademola-Popoola advised people to always supervise children during play to a check a situation where they could come in contact with objects that could damage their eyes.
The expert said vision contributed more to learning of children with 83 per cent than the other senses, hearing, 11 per cent, smell, 3.5 per cent, touch at 1.5 per cent and taste, 1.0 per cent.
According to the lecturer, vision drives development while blindness reduces life expectancy in people, adding that no fewer than 1.5 million children are blind worldwide.
“Three out of 10,000 children are blind in the developed countries while there are 12 out of 10,000 in developing countries, mostly in Africa and Asia,” she said.
The professor also said that most blind children died within two to three years of blindness, while 80, out of 100 blind children did not attend school.
The ophthalmologist said that four out of 100 persons, 40 years and above in Nigeria were blind and that blind children suffered more compared to blind adults.
Ademola-Popoola further urged people to ensure early detection and treatment of eye problems.
She called on schools to screen pupils to ascertain the status of their eyes or correct defects in their vision problems before five years.
The expert further advised Nigerians to make donation towrad the treatment of blind persons, and to also support research efforts in that direction.